Newly appointed Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government, Prof Ajay Kumar Sood, who is also one of the country’s leading scientist cum academician, today called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.
Dr Jitendra Singh asked Prof Sood to come out with a draft policy to identify potential StartUps in the country to make them sustainable through appropriate funding and technological interventions. The Minister called for proactive hunting of Start-ups to meet their funding needs by organisations like Technology Development Board and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under the Ministry of Science and Technology. He also mooted the idea of roping in Industry for giving a big push to the Start-up ecosystem.
The Minister also discussed with the Principal Scientific Advisor, the roadmap for effective implementation of ‘Integrated Approach in Science &Technology for Sustainable Future. He underlined that under the draft of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) issues like inviting public suggestions for adding words related to start-up and innovation, adopting ways to put India among top 5 in terms of quality of research outcome by year 2030, targeting 30% participation of women in science by year 2030, taking India within top 3 global leaders in STI by year 2030 and how can India achieve Atma Nirbharta in technology by year 2030 need constant brainstorming.
Referring to the Common Portal for all fellowships, grants and scholarship schemes by all Departments to be processed through a single unified portal, Dr Jitendra Singh advised Prof Sood to explore the possibility of integrating the scholarships and grants of Ministries of Education and Minority Affairs in the Common Portal and for that to establish communication with these Ministries soon.
Similarly, Dr Jitendra Singh also flagged the issue of Unified Media Technology Centre (UMTC) at Vigyan Prasar and stressed that the same must be made fully functional within a month. He said, the requirement of budget to fulfil this activity may be taken care of appropriately and at the same time Vigyan Prasar should focus on more visuals and creative media in focused themes.
Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that taking a cue from Prime Minister Modi’s out-of-box approach, in the recent past all the seven different Departments and Ministries related to Science, namely, Science & Technology, Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Earth Sciences, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Atomic Energy and Space held brainstorming sessions with each of the Line Ministries like Agriculture, Jal Shakti, Railways, Health, Highways, etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh also reviewed the progress of the National Science Conclave to be convened soon and suggested that thematic and state-specific discussions could be included in the Conclave involving states, industry representatives and other stakeholders. He opined that integration of various departments and avoiding overlapping activities will certainly result in better output of every department.
Dr Jitendra Singh also asked the Principal Scientific Adviser to oversee the priority implementation of S&T solutions to 200 odd problems received from 38 line Ministries. CSIR to lead the implementation on priority by coordinating with various departments and the same should be completed within 2 months.